16 July 2007

This is GOOD SCIENCE!

"Open notebook science" is a great term devised by Jean-Claude Bradley - great, because it makes explicit exactly where you can find, read and hack the source code that underlies open science. One of the best observers of that world, Bill Hooker, has an interesting comment on a fellow researcher's adoption of the open notebook approach:


It's also, to be honest, just plain fun to snoop around in someone else's lab notes! I was amused to note that Jeremiah talks to and about himself in his notebook, the same way I do -- "if I weren't so stupid I'd...", "next time load the control first, doofus", etc. I wonder if everyone does that?

Now, where have I heard this sort of thing before?

This is GOOD CODE!

Yeah, yeah, it's ugly, but I cannot find how to do this correctly, and this seems to work...Most of this was trial and error...Urghh

The programming comments of a very young Linus Torvalds as he hacked version 0.01 of a little program called Linux during the summer of 2001. Coincidence? I don't think so....

4 comments:

Jean-Claude Bradley said...

Thanks - that is a very interesting comparison...

But yes, doing science is a lot like making sausages - often not pretty.

glyn moody said...

And of course, the great thing about open source/open notebook science is that you get to see the ingredients, in all their glory - and so you are able to make an informed decision about whether you want to eat them....

Roland Haroutiounian said...

Do you know websites like wikispaces or other open notebooks, where I could post and be garanteed a certain level of intellectual property in terms of timestamping. I work in chemoinformatics and so I would create some algorithms and protocols I wouldn't want someone to steal me. I know I'm a bit rude saying that but it's the risk when using an open notebook thing. When it comes to important discoveries, we can't publish crucial data and thoughts with any kind of garantee.

glyn moody said...

@Roland: I fear you're asking the wrong person - I think you *should* be sharing those algorithms and protocols freely...it's called science, you know?